Monday, May 20, 2024

The Latest Insane Reparations Proposal Wants To Give $14 Trillion

It seems that almost everyday there is a new reparations proposal. Our own Erik Derr has covered the proposals of both the state of California and San Francisco.

Today’s reparations entry is from Duke University professor William A. Darity and author A. Kirsten Mullen. The two have a new book out called “From Here to Equality: Reparations for Black Americans in the Twenty-First Century.”

The two authors propose the sum of $14 trillion in order to “close the racial wealth gap.” For perspective, the size of entire the U.S. economy is around $23 trillion.

Darity and Mullen argue that the reparations are justified because the federal government culpable in the enslavement of blacks and legal segregation in the U.S., which is pretty hard to argue against. They also claim that the federal government was a party to the suppression of the black vote and the destruction of black people’s property.

While it is certainly true that the federal government has mistreated black Americans, that is not the only explanation for the racial wealth gap. Nearly every non-white racial and ethnic group in the U.S. has a story of racial discrimination to tell and many of them still manage to outearn white Americans. The explanation for the racial wealth gap is Critical Race Theory 101, which is that any differences in outcomes by race are the result of racism. That is complete nonsense.

Darity and Mullen suggest that the U.S. government doesn’t have to raise taxes to pay for reparations. Instead, they could just simply print the money as was done to pay for COVID relief. But wouldn’t that cause an increase in inflation? Darity and Mullen’s suggestion is to space out the payments over 10 years and/or make it an asset-based gift to black Americans. But that still doesn’t prevent an increase in inflation and depending on what assets they’re talking about we could be talking about supply shortages.

All of the various reparations proposals are absurd. Who would be eligbile for reparations? Would Nigerian-Americans, who typically are high achievers both financially and educationally, be eligible? Would wealthy blacks also be eligible? You could have instances where poor whites in Appalachia where there is more fentanyl than money would be paying the reparations of millionaires and billionaries. That doesn’t seem fair doesn’t it.

The whole purpose of these reparations plans is to keep racial tensions high. It is to encourage black voters to see themselves as victims who are owed something from society. It does not encourage them to better themselves through working hard and leading responsible lives. Coincidentially the only people who truly benefit from this are Democrats who promise to give them this stuff.

America has problems with racism that still need to be solved. But reparations does nothing to solve them. They’re economically infeasible. Far from reducing racial tensions and promoting racial justice, they breed racial animosity as poor white people who have never done a racist thing in their lives are forced to pay higher taxes and/or endure higher inflation to benefit wealthy blacks.

Instead of continuing to indulge divisive fantasies like reparations, let’s have real discussions on how to reduce racism and improve the lot in life of black Americans.